Influencer marketing is widely regarded as an inescapable trend. Brands who want to grab consumers’ attention and impact their purchasing decisions are finding that influencer marketing is an efficient tool in their marketing belt. More and more luxury brands are waking up to the power of influencer marketing.
Some of the vanguards of influencer marketing may want to keep their methods under wraps, but we’re going to let you in on the secrets of creating an influencer marketing campaign for a luxury brand.
Here is our step-by-step guide for you, from our field experience.
Step 1: Define a clear campaign objective
Before partnering with an influencer, it’s important for luxury brands to outline what they’re hoping to achieve with the campaign. Whether it’s announcing the launch of a new design, promoting an event, taking the brand image in a new direction or simply increasing brand awareness and driving more sales, a clear objective is vital.
With a focused goal in mind, brands can plan, implement and measure their success.
Step 2: Supply the materials to tell a story
It’s essential to provide the influencer with as many storytelling materials as possible. Think interviews, behind-the-scenes stories, sketches of the design inspiration etc. The more materials brands provide the influencers with, the better their content will be. Having a broad range of brand materials will allow the influencer to create unique and engaging content.
An example: when Wendy Nguyen from popular fashion blog ‘Wendy’s Lookbook’ partnered with jewelry brand Tacori she made several behind-the-scenes videos for her YouTube channel, creating unique content which increased interest in the brand and highlighted their design and manufacture process.
This is the beauty of content created by an influencer – it’s unique, engaging and is geared towards supplying value to the influencer’s followers. In short, it’s not a ‘traditional’ advert. Influencers are wary of overloading their audience with inauthentic “too-commercial” content, which is why they are so trusted, and why they affect their audience’s purchase decision-making. In fact, 92% of consumers take recommendations from friends or trusted sources like online communities.
And with luxury purchases being more expensive, consumers are even more likely to look to recommendations before parting with their cash; it makes sense for luxury brands to leverage this influence.
And don’t forget, the best influencers are in demand, and will receive multiple brand offers in a day. So by supplying adequate branding elements brands will make their campaign more attractive to these top-tier influencers.
Another tip: sending product samples definitely helps. As does involving the influencers in a personal way, such as joining a brand event or visiting a workshop. This helps to make the story individual. After all, a personal story is always more engaging.
Step 3: Choose the right media channels
Luxury brands have generally opted for tried-and-tested, well-established media channels. So far, the most popular and successful influencer channels for high-end brands have been luxury lifestyle blogs and Instagram.
YouTube is of course hugely popular for cosmetic and skin care reviews, but these are – in general – more concentrated on mid-range products. That said, there has been YouTube content reviewing luxe cosmetic products and luxury hotels which have been very successful.
Step 4: Find the right influencers
So, how do you find the right influencer(s) for your brand? Quality is key. Take into account the design and look of the influencer’s blog, the aesthetic quality of their Instagram feed, and the major topics that they post about. These will indicate the influencer’s positioning and their audience profile. For luxury brands, it’s imperative not to stray from the brand positioning and not to appear in sponsored content that will alienate the brand’s core demographic, who expect a level of exclusivity.
Then you need to consider the hard indicators: the audience size and engagement level.
However, as well as the quality of influencers, it’s also important to cast a wide net. Based on our experience with campaigns in the luxury sector, the average positive response rate from influencers is around 10 to 30%. Being able to reach out to a large number of suitable influencers is the best guarantee of getting the content you want in a suitable timeframe.
Step 5: Amplify the editorial content to a larger audience
Once the editorial content is created by the influencer, amplify it. This is basically diffusing the content to a larger audience than the influencer’s organic one. Amplification can be through a content network which targets a highly precise audience predefined by the brand, or simply through social media such as Facebook and Instagram.
They get more bang – or more reach – for their buck, so to speak.
Step 6: Track results – and learn from them
Nowadays we can track numerous performance metrics by using powerful online tools. For example: the number of post reads and impressions, the amount of website clicks, the geolocation of the audience, even the device they were using while browsing your content.
For brands with brick-and-mortar stores, we can also develop an interactive store locator where we can track readers’ interactions and provide detailed insights about their profile (gender, age, geolocation, etc.) The brand can use these data points to create a picture of the people who have interacted and focus subsequent campaigns accordingly. The same reader pool can also be
The brand can use these data points to create a picture of the people who have interacted and focus subsequent campaigns accordingly. The same reader pool can also be retargeted for a future campaign by the same brand, increasing the conversion rate.
Although it’s still a new idea to some luxury brand managers, influencer marketing is growing at a surprising speed. The number of full-time influencers is rising, as is the professionalization of their content. As brand strategist Jean-Noël Kapferer notes: “in order to maintain the dream value of a luxury brand, you have to permanently refuel the luxury dream. Refuelling the dream means creating content, content, content.”
Combined with detailed data insights about audience profiles and campaign performance, influencer marketing is definitely THE secret weapon for all savvy marketers in the coming years.